I just recieved a replacement credit card, as the old one expires next month. Because I will forget if I do not do these things at once, I promptly called the number provided for activation. I answered the voice prompts: last four digits of the account, last four digits of social security number, zip code, number of pets, dream job, favourite vegetable, favourite 19th century poet, how tall one must be to ride this ride. At last I was forwarded to a real live person.
I gave him the number.
He repeated it.
I confirmed that what he had just repeated was correct.
Ermmm... I cast my mind back. When had I applied for the account? Of a certainty it was prior to our moving to Warwick, so our original phone number here wouldn't be right. Was it when I was still in Connecticut? Or Manhattan? Possibly New Jersey, though I didn't think so... still, that number I remembered, while the Manhattan number was hiding somewhere in the recesses of my brain, skulking behind the schedule for the fall semester of my junior year of college or the second half of the 'Fifty States' song (everything past 'Michigan' is a blank: states, tune, grand finale... all gone). Anyway, it was worth a shot.
I recited the New Jersey phone number.
He repeated it.
I confirmed that what he had just repeated was, again, correct.
"Um," said I, "your company has called me at home before." There was a pause. "At the first number I gave you." Paaaaauuuusssse. "So it would stand to reason that it must be on record, right?"
If I listened very, very closely, I could almost hear the *blink* *blink* and the faint indrawn breath before, "YouWillHaveToCallTheCustomerServiceNumb
Then I did something of which I am not very proud. Before he could finish his sentence - or polysyllabic word, depending how you look at it - I said, "Thank you!" and hung up. It felt good for a moment; then I just felt mean.
I called the CustomerServiceNumberOnTheBackOfMyCard.
I gave them all the information I'd given the activation service, as well as my preference in bedsheets, how many people have crushed on me, the supersekkrit handshake, and my shoe size. I sat through the stats on my account before finding out that I could win a Home Depot gift card(!!!) just for making a selection(!!!) from the menu following the account stats(!!!). Needless to say, by this point I was thinking that I just wanted the damned card activated with the damned proper phone number and there was no way I was going to enter for a Home Depot gift card(!!!) because there were sure to be strings attached, and I had strings aplenty going as it was.
"Thank you for calling CreditCardCompany of Endless Annoyances!" the recording chirped. "Please stay on the line! Our next available representative will be with you shortly!"
I took a deep breath. I had already been rude to Mr. Working-For-The-Man; I was determined not to take out my frustration on whoever was lucky enough to get stuck with my call. In the meantime, I fed the cats. Answered an email. Checked the NYRF board.
"Thank you for your patience!"
"Oh, don't bother," I said aloud. "You're wasting your breath."
"A representative will be with you as possible!"
"Don't you mock me," I snarled.
Moments later, the sound of a phone ringing heralded my release from Hold Limbo. A woman answered. Against all probability, she was also named Flumblemumble. Funny, I hadn't realized it was a unisex name. She was clearly a bit more awake and considerably less beaten down by her job, as she made the effort to put clear divisions between each word she spoke. I explained the situation. She asked for the last four digits of my social security number (hadn't I already told the machine? were she and the machine not on speaking terms? I refrained from asking because there might be some painful story behind this schism, and I'd only be opening old wounds), my zip code, my pet's names, and when I knew Don was 'The One.'
"Our records indicate your number is..." and she read off our home number - the very first number I'd given to Flumblemumble the Elder.
"THANK you!" Sweet, sweet vindication. "Thank you so much."
"Is there anything else I can do for you?" Flumblemumble the Younger was nothing if not solicitous.
"Uh, well... is my card activated?"
She assured me that it was and we bade each other Good Evening.
Now let's see if the card actually works next time I try to use it. yeesh.